January 20, 2016 — An article by Pepperdine Law professor and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Academic Director Tom Stipanowich entitled “The International Evolution of Mediation: A Call for Dialogue and Deliberation” has been published by the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review. The article, found at 46 Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 1191 (2015), ties in with a series of lectures that Professor Stipanowich gave as the New Zealand Law Foundation’s International Dispute Resolution Scholar in 2014.
The International Evolution of Mediation
The author posits that the mounting global preoccupation with mediation, resulting in a proliferating array of institutions, programs, laws and regulations; an international “evangelical” movement; and growing impetus for an international convention promoting the recognition and enforcement of mediated settlement agreements, should be accompanied by our collective reflection, dialogue and discernment regarding where we have come to and where we are going. He urges active discussion and deliberation on a host of questions and concerns, including (1) our fundamental understanding of the nature and practice of mediation; (2) the impact of lawyers on mediation, and the appropriate interplay between client and counsel in making process choices; (3) the influence of culture and of legal traditions; (4) the interplay between the facilitation of settlement and processes of adjudication; (5) the potential impact of mediation on the rendition of justice. This conversation should be augmented by an assessment of current mega-trends – the challenges and opportunities presented by information technology, neuropsychology, the mining of big data, and initiatives aimed at institutionalizing or professionalizing mediation. Finally, there should be a new examination of heretofore-unfulfilled opportunities, such as the “upstream” (that is, early and pre-litigation) use of skills and insights gleaned from our experience with mediation for the purpose of sustaining and improving relationships.
Professor Tom Stipanowich
From Professor Stipanowich’s Pepperdine Law biography:
Thomas J. Stipanowich is William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution and Professor of Law at Pepperdine University, as well as Academic Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution (ranked number one among academic dispute resolution programs each of the last 11 years by U.S. News & World Report), where he teaches courses in negotiation theory and practice, mediation, arbitration practice, international commercial arbitration, international dispute resolution, contracts and remedies. He is a leading scholar, speaker and trainer on conflict resolution topics as well as an experienced arbitrator and mediator.